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Worries and Solutions

Worries and Solutions

Industry leaders gathered and addressed pressing issues and future opportunities of CAD/CAM at a panel discussion on Tuesday at the National Manufacturing Week.

Moderated by Stephen Wolfe of CAD/CAM Publishing (www.cadcamnet.com), the panel-consisted of Charles Grindstaff of UGS PLM Solutions (www.ugsplm.com),
Mike Campbell of PTC (www.ptc.com), Ken Hoadley of Sensable Technologies (www.sensable.com), Robert Kross of Autodesk (www.autodesk.com), and John McEleney of SolidWorks (www.solidworks.com) --shared their insights and experience with the 100-plus attendees in areas such as how to facilitate changes in CAD.

"First, reduce the ways people can create things, make it flexible and reduce command sets," said McEleney, adding that sufficient training must be provided and that both local and global changes must be made possible.

In terms of data exchange, which Campbell called "one of the biggest problems in the industry," Campbell said vendors must work together to enhance interoperability. Hoadley added that companies could also try to achieve standardized tools.

But Kross disagreed. "We're an industry of competitors," he said. "There's built-in resistance."

Kross suggested that vendors could try open-published formats. McEleney added that industry standards should better be driven by market forces as the industry consolidates so that they would be a long-term healthy and natural solution.

The panel also addressed the issue of easier CAD uses. Kross said "much more embedded intelligence in objects" could be the answer.

Wolfe added that training and education must also be considered.

"Universities are good at teaching the principles," Campbell said. But vendors have the responsibility to ensure tool proficiency among the users, he commented.

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